SGPC: Many manuscripts returned after Op Bluestar - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Friday, June 14, 2019

SGPC: Many manuscripts returned after Op Bluestar


SGPC: Many manuscripts returned after Op Bluestar

GS Paul
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 13

Thirtyfive years after Operation Bluestar, the SGPC for the first time admitted that a sizeable number of rare manuscripts, which had “gone missing” from the Sikh Reference Library and Central Sikh Museum, were returned later.

After holding a meeting with former and existing officials and librarians, SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh said 205 handwritten manuscripts of Guru Granth Sahib ‘saroops’, 807 handwritten rare books, one “hukumama” (edict) and some newspapers copies were received by the gurdwara committee.

Asserting that the authenticity of the manuscripts was yet to be ascertained, he said a high-powered committee, comprising SGPC trustees, documentation specialists, librarians and legal experts, would be constituted for it.

Before the Operation, the SGPC claimed to have had 512 handwritten ‘saroops’ some bearing signatures of revered Sikh gurus, 12,613 books and a number of newspaper copies.

While the Army authorities maintained that the library had caught fire during exchange of fire, the SGPC had maintained that the Army had deliberately put an “empty library” on fire after taking the rare material. Till date, what exactly happened at Sikh Reference Library is not clear. Roop Singh claimed the Defence Department had agreed to have taken away “religious treasure”.

“In reply to my correspondence, the Deputy Defence Secretary wrote that the contents of the library that were taken away were returned to the police and SGPC. This testified that the Army took the material from the library. We will also ask the police about what material was received by them. We disagree with the claims of the Army that all material was returned,” he said.

Then assistant secretary Kulwant Singh, who had signed a document after receiving some material from the Army in September 1984, said, “I endorse my signatures. I had signed after my colleagues — secretary Bhan Singh and former librarian Balbir Singh — endorsed the document. But a handwritten line in English over my signature was not there. The line claims that ‘the whole material was received by the SGPC.’ When was it included and who wrote it is beyond my knowledge?” he said.

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